Souperstar is like a warm hug, not just through their wholesome and heartfelt meals that radiate familiarity with a twist of innovation, but because they are a genuine company that believes giving back is an essential part of their business.
Over the years, Souperstar (a well-known restaurant chain in Singapore) has sponsored multiple filtration systems in developing and disaster-hit communities that are in dire need of safe and clean water. Helping communities in need is so significant to them that they even built a system of giving within their customer rewards programme, to extend the opportunity for donation to their customers as well.
Earlier this month, we had the honour of interviewing one of Souperstar’s founders, Hong Wei Ting, as she shares what it takes to be a modern brand that empowers its customers to do good in a simple and easy way.
"Doing good can be simple and real."
Questions and Answers
Q: You have a long history of restauranteering in your family, but besides growing up in this industry and inheriting the same passions for food as your parents, what would you say drives you to continue expanding your business and opening new restaurants?
Our pioneers at Fortune Food have been serving Singaporeans their favourite local delights for over a decade. Fortune Food, a brand with more than 10 years of popular following, operates 10 hawker stalls serving well-loved Singapore delicacies such as popiahs, kueh pie ti, laksa and muah chee. We strive to uphold our pioneers’ ethos for fresh, quality and affordable food even as we take a spin on our expertise to bring you hearty meals to the neighbourhood.
Our mission is to connect people with a dining experience beyond typical, invoking the senses through dynamic interpretations of familiar tastes!
Q: Many reward programs only benefit customers, but you decided to do something different in order to create a life-changing impact for the less fortunate. Why did you create a rewards program to encourage this idea of continuous giving instead?
Beyond delicious and hearty food, we envision ourselves as a nexus of passion and humanity, connecting people from all walks of life. We aim to make a real impact to the society around us - taking inspiration from the familiarity of home and comfort foods as a platform to inspire diners and to empower brands rooted in our core values.
Often at times, rewards programs are created with CSR in mind. However, we’ve come to realise that there are some concerns and skepticism towards a corporate rewards program that involves contributing to good causes, as this issue often results in customers choosing instant gratification instead of contributing for a good cause.
Hence, we wish to eliminate this “struggle” of deciding about doing good and enable it to be as simple as 1 click through their daily dining. More importantly, it is not at their expense, but on us. Contributing in a monetary manner often creates a sense of loss instead of a sense of giving. We simply need them to contribute and take part in a collective manner.
Secondly, prior to the app launch, we’ve conducted surveys to ask a handful of samples on how they feel about their donations to companies whenever they see donation boxes displayed in-store. Often, they do desire to do good but are unsure whether the donation would create the impact it sets out to. On the other hand, companies also do donate in the form of declaring certain margins for charity causes, however, customers are uncertain whether it is truly executed and it does not create any sense of involvement.
With the main driving factors above, we seek to create a rewards program to encourage this idea of continuous giving, without feeling as though they have loss monetarily or have to give a large output in order to do good and help someone in need.
Q: Souperstar recently opened its 5th location! Can you tell us a bit about the Souperstar brand and how the Souperstar rewards program works?
The Souperstar App was created as a way to build our relationship with all Souperstar customers. The primary function allows customers to earn “Stars” from their purchases and over time, they would be able to use these Stars to redeem rewards such as our menu items i.e. free Traditional Popiah, free Combo or even Grab vouchers. We have also implemented a secondary currency, “hearts” which could be donated in-app to support a greater cause as a Token of Love. “Hearts” can be earned from each Souper Combo purchase and the accumulation will not deplete unless customers decide to click and donate it for the SOUPEROAMERS community.
With every 14 hearts, customers can help 1 person to have clean water access in the rural community by clicking on the “TOKENS OF LOVE” tab. This will not cost them any extra money for donation; it is purely an act of kindness of which Souperstar will fulfill the water filter deployment once we’ve hit our goal for each deployment.
As of (date), every 100 donors would contribute to deploying one water filter to a developing and disaster-hit community.
Q: The Souperstar rewards program allows customers to collect Hearts and support social causes, but has it also benefited Souperstar in any way?
Souperstar strongly believes in supporting locals and meaningful social causes and hence, as we work with Wateroam in deploying water filters around the regions and communities in need, we were able to play a part in a greater cause through the collective efforts of the local community through their daily dining at Souperstar.
Q: Over the years, have you witnessed a growth in the number of customers utilizing the Souperstar App to do good, instead choosing to receive personal rewards?
It has always been a challenge for us as we would never want to put any pressure on the customer for any form of donations, as traditionally, ‘donations’ have been viewed at a monetary expense.
However, we did see an increase in purchases of combos as this is the only method of earning hearts to be part of the cause. After 3 years of running the Souperstar App, the numbers have increased significantly and we have noticed an increase in awareness as well as contribution towards our Tokens of Love. With the help of our valued customers, we were able to gather more than 400 donations, leading up to 4 water filters being deployed across the region.
Q: You’ve been a sponsor of Wateroam for 5 years now, benefiting over 1000 lives; how do Souperstar’s company values align with Wateroam’s?
Yes, prior to launching our App 3 years ago and creating the SOUPEROAMERS community, the company have donated on an annual basis for the first 2 years to contribute to this good cause.
Given that humanity is one of our 8 core values, it has always been a goal of our founders to collaborate with a local enterprise that is aligned with us in our beliefs and strive to give back to society.
Despite being in an entirely different industry, Souperstar and Wateroam aligns in terms of the value of creating their offerings along the pillar of affordability. Wateroam’s water filter are lightweight and designed to be affordable for rural development missions. Similarly, Souperstar strives to provide an affordable food menu to the local community to enjoy healthy comfort food daily.
On top of this, with Wateroam’s main focus on being Water-oriented, the necessity of lives, we strongly believe that food also comes in as the key necessity of daily living. Water and food comes hand-in-hand for sustainability of livelihood.
We are certainly glad to have cross-pathed with Wateroam, to create the SOUPEROAMERS community. Souperstar has always been looking out for ways to give back to society and to do good for a greater cause. And thankfully with Wateroam, we were able to extend the reach to many lives in the region or even globally.
Q: Why did you choose Souperstar’s social initiative to focus on providing access to clean water in developing and disaster-hit communities?
Q: Did you have a social impact goal in mind for your collaboration with Wateroam, or are you just aiming to create as much of an impact as possible?
As of now, we are simply aiming to create as much of an impact as possible.
Q: This year has been very turbulent and difficult for many businesses, but Souperstar continued to sponsor filters in 2020. Why was it important for you to continue giving during this challenging time?
We do understand that due to COVID 19, regional transportation and deployments are a huge challenge for Wateroam. However, we believe that we, all the more, have to continue supporting the cause because in times like this, rural communities are even more in need of clean drinkable water to sustain their livelihood.
We hope to still sponsor the filters and have Wateroam to plan into their deployments missions regardless.
"We all know that water is essential and it may seem small but it is often a necessity that is often neglected..."
Q: Is there anything you want to say to your customers who have helped make the sponsorship and deployment of Wateroam’s filters possible?
We are definitely very grateful to our customers who’ve supported the cause and their belief in the SOUPEROAMERS community. Without them, we will not be able to impact thousands of lives globally. We do hope to continue impacting more lives through the Token of Love and we hope that they can continue to spread the words and support the SOUPEROAMERS community whenever they dine at SOUPERSTAR! Thank you!
Souperstar has impacted so many lives over the years through the hearty meals that they serve and the filters they’ve sponsored. Read below to learn how you can join their rewards programme and make their impact even bigger!
Souperstar’s Rewards Program
Souperstar’s admirable and kind contribution towards the less fortunate encourages the idea of continuous giving to create and restore hope in communities facing challenges.
Here’s a quick guide on how you can help provide clean and safe water through the ‘SOUPERSTAR’ app:
For more information, click here.
Next time you’re enjoying a delicious meal at Souperstar, make sure you become part of the SOUPEROAMERS community to help both Souperstar and Wateroam multiply our impact across the globe! With every ‘Heart’ you give, we’re one step to a world without prolonged thirst.
Blog Author: Nur Khairiyah Binte Mohd Samion
Chief Editor: Michelle Falcone